Pita Bread Pizzas

Photo by Evan Atlas.

Photo by Evan Atlas.

These Vegan Pita Bread Pizzas were born a few weeks ago, after an unusually long and exhausting day. I landed in the kitchen at about 8:00 that night, too tired to think. We were all overly hungry with no dinner plan in sight.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and this pizza variation could not be easier.

I have found the key to vegan pizza is loads of fresh toppings and contrasting flavors. The more the better.

I started with soft thick pita bread squares — the kind you find in the bakery section at Kroger or Whole Foods — then sliced them in half and placed them onto a small baking sheet. I covered them with a thick layer of pasta sauce, using the last bit of a homemade puttanesca sauce with chopped olives in it, but any tomato sauce would just as work well.

Onto that, I piled lots of vegetables. I like to use steamed Vidalia onions, red bell peppers, and diced zucchini, and then loads of crushed pineapple and ribbons of fresh basil. That’s my favorite.

Nothing needs to be measured, and anything goes. And that makes this more of a concept than an actual recipe. Fresh tomatoes, cooked broccoli, artichokes, spinach, mushrooms, olives, hot peppers… all good.

Finally, sprinkle the pizzas with a touch of seasoning, and tuck them into a 450 degree toaster oven. When the pitas start to become crisp on the edges and bubbly in the center, dinner is served.

That first night these easy pizzas were the solution to a minor crisis. But when I repeated these very same Vegan Pita Bread Pizzas the next night, it was honestly because they were just so darn good.

PITA BREAD PIZZAS

Serves 4

4 thick whole wheat pita bread squares (6-inches each), or mini rounds
Pasta sauce, pizza sauce, or tomato sauce
Red bell peppers, diced (raw, sautéed, or steamed)
Vidalia onions, diced (raw, sautéed, or steamed)
Zucchini, diced (raw, sautéed, or steamed)
Crushed pineapple, drained
Ribbons of fresh basil
Italian Seasoning (optional)
Salt and black pepper, to taste

To serve: nutritional yeast or red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

Preheat oven (or toaster oven) to 425 or 450 degrees.

Slice pita breads in half, lengthwise or diagonally. Place pita halves onto a baking sheet. Slather with a thick layer of pasta sauce.

Top the sauce generously with all the toppings of your choice. Sprinkle the pizzas with a touch of salt and pepper and/or Italian Seasoning. Bake for approximately 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn crispy and golden brown, and the center is hot and bubbling.

Remove from oven, and serve hot. Top with nutritional yeast or red pepper flakes, if desired.

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